The Mekong Delta Tour was about a two hour drive south-west of town. The traffic was absolutely crazy. Because of Tet, the Chinese New Year which is the biggest holiday of the year for Vietnamese, everyone is heading out of town to go to their home towns. To give you some perspective, there are about 8 million people living in Ho Chi Minh City and 5 million motorbikes. So when we made our way through the madness of traffic, we got on our boat in My Tho to cross the delta to stop at Unicorn Island.
On Unicorn Island, we visited a little honey bee farm. We were able to look at some bees at work in their nest. I had an opportunity to hold one of the honeycomb slabs full of bees, but once I got the courage I lost my chance. We then moved over to taste a sweet honey tea that I found really good and a banana wine which I thought tasted like banana tequila. We also had an opportunity to hold a snake. This was pretty cool and I didn’t have any fear about doing it. From here we also tried a number of exotic fruits I could not tell you the names of. I have no idea what I was eating, but I did try everything that was put in front of me!!
After a little taste testing at the bee farm, we then moved on to some Mekong Delta action. We climbed in our boat, put on our rice patty hats, and went for a little ride. This is pretty much the one thing I was looking forward to on the whole trip.
After getting paddled down through the jungle, we went to the Ben Tre province to see how handmade coconut candy was made. I also had the opportunity to drink some snake whiskey. For not being a big fan of coconut, I thought the candy was really good. A bit to chewy for me though. It has a texture like taffy. The snake whiskey tasted similar to a rice wine and did have a kick to it, but not to the point of giving me a surge of heartburn.
From here we got to ride horse-drawn carriages to lunch. As for the lunch, Hannah, an Aussie girl I met from my hostel, and I decided to split the Elephant Ear fish. It was the cheapest thing on the menu, but they charged by the kilo. We didn’t realize this, so we ended up paying more than we originally planned. But the fish really was excellent!!
After lunch, we then had one more little trip down the delta and headed back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overall, I thought the Mekong Delta Tour was decent for the 345,000 Dong ($16.40 US) I paid. I got to try some unique foods and have some experiences that I would not have had otherwise. The people I was on the tour with were also really nice!
After we all got back, Chris (UK), Hannah (Australia), and I went to find some food and then walked around to see some sights at night. One stop I had to make was to Hard Rock Cafe- Ho Chi Minh City!!
I almost forgot it too and thankfully the Hanoi one isn’t open yet, or otherwise I would have been pretty upset to have missed it. We also ran across Saigon’s Notre Dam and enjoyed seeing all the lights set up for the big New Years celebrations.
To end the day, Hannah and I got our feet eaten by fish!! It cost each of us 100,000 dong ($4.75 US) for 30 minutes. Afterwards, your feet feel so smooth. I did it in Thailand four years ago and jumped on the chance tonight. After 24 days of travel, my feet needed a little loving!
I will be heading for a half-day tour tomorrow to the Cu Chi Tunnels used during the Vietnam War.